California will try to keep its momentum rolling against struggling Arizona on Saturday in Tucson, Ariz.
After convincing home wins against Colorado and Oregon State following a near-upset at Oregon, Cal (3-5, 2-3 Pac-12) is still playing for a winning season. Arizona (0-8, 0-5) is trying to snap a 20-game losing streak, the longest active streak in the nation and a dubious school record.
“We’re certainly improving,” said Bears coach Justin Wilcox. “There are some guys that are developing and making some big plays in the game and kind of coming into their own a little bit.”
One of them is quarterback Chase Garbers, who in last week’s 39-25 win over Oregon State rushed for a touchdown on the opening drive. That set the school career record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 10.
Garbers also secured a career-high passer rating of 188.1, topping his previous personal best of 187. He completed 17 of 26 pass attempts for 262 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
He avoided getting sacked while rushing for 58 yards on 10 carries and the Golden Bears tallied a season-high 255 yards on 47 carries.
Arizona is second to last in the Pac-12 in rushing yards allowed per game (192.0). The Wildcats yielded 234 yards on the ground last week in a 41-34 loss at Southern California.
After a 34-0 loss at Colorado, the Wildcats have lost their last two games by a touchdown or less, falling 21-16 against Washington before the USC game.
“I made the reference last week about going from losing big to losing small to winning small to winning big,” Arizona coach Jedd Fisch said. “That was another great example of being there but not over the hump.
“I think we all saw that there was absolutely no flinch, no letdown, no anything, and we got to play four quarters of football.”
Will Plummer completed 20 of 34 pass attempts for 264 yards while rushing for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Backup Jamarye Joiner, a former quarterback turned receiver, took snaps against at QB the Trojans. His first appearance resulted in a 73-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
Joiner is not expected to play against California because of a right knee sprain. That leaves Plummer as the only able quarterback. Jordan McCloud (right knee and ankle) and Gunner Cruz (broken thumb) sustained season-ending injuries.
–Field Level Media